Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Charity Crafting Pitfalls

There's no way to describe the warm fuzzy feelings our Friday morning charity crafters get when we talk about and share our hand made items. Some of us crochet; some knit; some sew. Some of us do more than one type of work. We love the idea of someone using or wearing one of our hats, scarves, gloves, lap throws, shawls or baby things.

One pitfall, though, is the accumulation of the items while waiting for distribution time.

Each week, we bring in the items we have finished at home, if we had time to work on any. Each week, we spend at least two hours working on items in our group meeting. We have grown to 8 ladies. One is out of state (she mails her things to one of our gals) and one does not attend (she gives her donations to her neighbor who brings them in).

For the past three years, I have been the accumulator. Some weeks when we leave, I tote home a lawn bag full of stuff. Other weeks, it is just a plastic grocery bag. Still other weeks, when one of the invisible members has sent over her things, I am fielding several large lawn bags. Last week, for instance, I took home our regular items plus those from one gal who attends every few months but works constantly at home, who brought in 50 pair of fingerless gloves for the homeless - that was quite a haul.

Because we do not distribute until when we have enough of one category (homeless, nursing home, preemies, etc.), it sits in my cluttered home awaiting its turn to travel.

This past weekend, I just had to tear into that stash. We had done several distributions in December. After two months, it had almost taken on a life of its own. I ended up giving one gal, who distributes the homeless donations plus some for needy babies, six lawn bags plus a list of the contents. I put aside two bags for the hospital for preemies. And I have 3 full lawn bags for the nursing home.

The only thing I mind about this part of the project is that the things are always scattered. When I come home each Friday around Noon, I just toss the bags in the nearest empty spot. I really must set aside individual totes for each distribution point. This must then be followed up by my putting the weekly offerings into its proper tote by the time I go to bed each Friday. I need to train myself to do this.

I love it when it is all sorted and packed. I just need to get organized and make the sorting less stressful.

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